CHANGING THE SEASONS OF THE WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

I haven’t read the official report, but I’ve read a lot of summaries and I wasn’t at all surprised by any of it. Twelve years left and then we can’t “save the earth.”

I consider it highly unlikely we’ll make that deadline.

I was one of the enthusiastic founders of the original Earth Day. Over the years, as we have cleaned up a lot of the inland waterways — the Blackstone and Hudson Rivers are two notable successes — and cleaned up the air around New York and on the west coast — I knew we weren’t making progress fast enough, but at least I could believe we were trying to head in the right direction.

Now with the big orange dictator setting up the world for extensive additional pollution, I wonder how quickly we will bring about our own doom?

People are the problem.

Our misuse of the earth, our pollution of the waters, our coughing up of coal dust into the air? People. Human beings. We did it, are doing it, and are unlikely to stop.

No other animal has polluted anything. Just people.


And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

— English Standard Version, Old Testament (Torah)


I’m not religious, or at least not in any traditional sense. Moreover, I don’t think the seven books of the Old Testament — the Torah — are close to the whole story. I have a lot of backup for this belief. It is widely believed there were hundreds of biblical books, most of which were destroyed during the first burning of the Great Temple. And then again, whatever was left were burnt in Alexandria. Even the memories of what was remembered died with the old Rabbis between the Crusades and the Holocaust.

A pack of gray wolves passes by a remote camera within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The landscape surrounding the failed nuclear reactor now supports a large population of wolves due to the limited human activity.

Hundreds of other books that were equally as holy as the seven we currently revere were burned, buried, destroyed. Do you think maybe they had something to say to us? Maybe this bit of text was not intended to tell us to exploit and despoil every inch of earth and every animal on the planet?

We have dominion over the earth, but we have not ruled the earth so much as destroyed it and now, it’s on the edge of fighting back.

I read a report recently about how well the area around Chernobyl has revived. Without human habitation, it has blossomed and wildlife has returned in plenitude. It’s not that the radioactivity has vanished, but that somehow, the world finds a way to move forward, radioactivity and all.

It turns out the earth can handle nuclear devastation. The only thing that it can’t manage is us.

Bee-eater in flight

This report does not offer us a lot of turnaround time — a mere dozen years. Perhaps you can take comfort in that although the earth may well become untenable as a place for human habitation, once it extracts us, it will be beautiful again as it was when we lived in the Garden of Eden, right below the mountains bordering Syria.

I have, by the way, been there. It’s an incredibly beautiful place where the underground waters that feed the Jordan river fountain up from the earth and wild bee-eaters take flight.


There are two signs on the path to the place.
In Hebrew, the words are “גן עדןmeaning “garden of Eden.”
The other sign says, in English, “Paradise.”

I felt, being there, that indeed if there was an Eden, this could be it. 

You might also take a look at Gordon Stewart’s “Climate Change in the Golden House.”

OF THE EARTH: CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE – Garry Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Ground: sand, dirt, grass, paths


When I took my excursion earlier this month, I took a lot of pictures of the ground. I had no idea why. The grass, the roads, the concrete. A gravel path. Our sidewalk.

Marilyn asked me why I’d take so many pictures of the ground and I said it was going to come in useful one day. Today seems to be the day!

Gravel path to the river
Dogs in their yard
Great green lawn
Shipping parking lot
Ground in the woods

FOUR ELEMENTS – VISUALIZING THE WORLD

WordPress Photo Challenge: Elemental


When I read this, I smiled. I remember when I was living in Israel and friends visited and they kept murmuring “But it’s so brown …” because it is. Sometimes. Deserts are brown in the summer, but in the winter with a bit of rain, they turn green and lovely. It’s amazing what a bit of water can do for the dry earth.

Earth
Air
Fire
Water
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

EARTH AS EARTHDAY APPROACHES

In honor of  April 22 – Earth Day 2017


Pogo – Walt Kelly

There is little about which to feel enthusiastic this year. With the world in turmoil and the U.S. environmental protection agency in disarray, it isn’t going to be a good year for the environment. I hope not every nation will be as cavalier with their resources as we are being.

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

EARTH AND HARVEST

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Harvest – Earth


The valley is not the best place for crops. We are a dairy and apple region. Some corn, some veggies in summer. Tomatoes. But no long fields of wheat or other grains waving in the summer breezes.

We do grow some glorious pumpkins, however. Some are so glorious, they are about the size of an average small truck. Acres and acres of pumpkins. Acorn squash, too. And, when the caterpillars haven’t done them in, apples.

HOT, HOTTER, HOTTEST – FICTION BY RICH PASCHALL

The Greenhouse, by Rich Paschall

It was another hot February day in the nation’s capital.  Many people had flooded the city’s cooling centers to get away from the unusual heat, as well as the “rolling black-outs.”  Even some of these air-conditioned locations would go without power for a few hours a day. It was unavoidable.  Just a few structures, as well as most government buildings, were exempt from the power outages.  There were a variety of factors straining the power supply in many regions of the country.  Heat seemed to be the main one.

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When the 21st Century was coming to a close, the President at that time had to admit the impact on the earth that was caused by human factors.  When elected, he continued to insist that climate change was a hoax, just as many Presidents had done before him.  The 45th President eliminated the Environmental Protection Agency  The 46th left the United Nations in order to stop hearing worldwide complaints about the nation’s lack of action.  The 47th President demanded that the space agency stop commenting on the climate and stop posting pictures of the earth that were taken from space.  Despite all of these actions, it became inevitable that the nation should face the truth.  Everyone was living in a greenhouse and the heat was on the rise.

The average temperature of the earth had risen ten degrees in the 100 years leading up to the overheated dawn of the 22nd Century. Some areas of the world had seen an even higher increase and were suffering greatly from it.  This caused a great migration away from the center of the earth and toward cooler climates.  This crowding of certain cities and towns lead to a crisis of jobs, housing, education and electrical power.  The final president of the century had no answers.  He had spent too many years denying the problem.  Now his best advice to the nation was to “Conserve and Optimize 2 preserve energy.”  The slogan resonated with no one.

Campaign 2100 brought a demand by the people for action on all the problems caused by the weather.  A rise in sea levels had flooded many coastal cities and one city on the Gulf was declared a complete loss.  Former President Tower had seen his beach front home disappear, which many thought was poetic justice.  Much of the southwest was completely unlivable due to heat.  Severe storms and tornadoes had destroyed much of the middle section of the country.  And while heat had dried up some areas, increased rainfall flooded others.

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A weary populace seemed to turn against traditional candidates while giving hope to independents and other parties.  The Green Party candidate, Arthur Klima, gathered the most interest in 2100.  The former chief scientist for the space agency had been fired by a previous administration for his comments on global warming.  His supporters counted on that very fact to propel him forward in the race for President.

Klima had little political experience and had never run for office.  Green Party officials convinced the scientist that the nation not only was ready for a drastic change, but needed a climate change expert in charge.  So off Arthur went on the long campaign that was ironically well-funded by billionaires hurt by the climate and entertainment luminaries sick of “politics as usual.”

Arthur started in the southeast to explain how the melting of the polar ice caps so far away brought flooding to them.  Then it was to the southwest where he stood in 110 degree temperatures to review how greenhouse gases radiated the heat of the sun back down to the earth, rather than escape the atmosphere.  In the middle of the country, he told the followers how heating the planet caused a rise in water vapor, which meant more clouds and more storms.  In the far north, Arthur was dressed in a short sleeve shirt and summer time shorts when he told the crowd they should all be wearing winter wear at that time of year.  The wildlife they loved, he explained to deathly quiet crowds, were surely going to die off due to loss of habitat.

Klima won Campaign 2100 by what many would consider a landslide.  The favored topics of the main party candidates were of little interest to those without power or water.  Now the people were going to rely on a scientist rather than a politician to bring them answers.  There was only one problem with that.  While Klima could define the problem for them, he did not know how to solve it at this late stage in the earth’s life.

At 30 days into his administration, Klima was preparing to address the nation with an action plan as he had promised throughout the campaign.  It was just a few hours before he was to go live from the Presidential office when Vice President Colton was reading the final draft.  She was a lifelong politician and she knew a smokescreen when she saw one.  She decided to tell Klima as much.

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“What is this?” she asked in their private meeting.  “You call for increased use of wind power and solar energy, with less reliance on fossil fuels.  Decreased emission from cars and factories!  These are minor improvements and will have minimal impact.  It will take years for this to mean anything.”

“Yes, I know,” Arthur said quietly.  “We should have been doing these things over 100 years ago.  The reports and studies we have reviewed  in the past month show we may not be able to save the planet after all.”

“Then what are you saying to the people with this speech about water vapor and nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane gases.  What are you offering with more solar panels in the southwest?”

“Hope,” Arthur replied.  “It is the only thing we can offer.”

 

See also:
Arid – Where There’s Not Enough Rain

EARTH

Celebrating the earth, the mother of us all.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016